A Fresh New Look

A while back we bought these chairs second hand. As much as they were a much needed addition to our dining room, white was never going to work in a house with three kids. So I started hunting for some fabric and found this fun design at a local sewing fair.

I've had a go once before at adding new fabric to a chair and it's a pretty straightforward process (even with a baby pulling at your fabric from below!) A quick unscrewing of the seat, cutting out a fabric square, stapling it on, trimming the fabric, and screwing the seats back on was all it took. The corners are always a little bit fiddly and I guess this gets easier the more you do it.

I'm really pleased with the results! I've got a couple of other chairs that also need new fabric. Slightly different projects as one needs new cushion covers and the the other needs fabric on cushions and the actual chair base. Any excuse for a bit of fabric shopping!


How Are You?

Hello. How are we all? I'm not going to lie. It's been pretty easy to shut out the outside world from our little corner of the world. The kids and I haven't left the house since last Saturday, a week ago. Andrew has been out a couple of times for supplies but otherwise we've been here, pottering about, keeping the kids occupied and getting jobs done. I'm am more than aware that we are in a very fortunate position having the space that we do for the kids to run free. We can wander around our land without the fear of bumping into anyone. But still... these are worrying times.

If I amuse myself with the hear and now, our day to day living, I'm OK. If I watch too much news, or spend too much time on Facebook, or start thinking about the future, the worries start to spiral out of control. These worries are not just about our lives, but also for those of friends and family, of all the local businesses, the kids missing out on time with their friends...

There's a lot to think about over the next few weeks and months. There's no doubt that change is in the air and I'm optimistic that these changes will be for the greater good. I feel compelled to get back onto this space more regularly, posting stories about what we're getting up to to keep ourselves positive.

We truly hope that wherever you are in the world you are safe and well. Do get in touch and let us know how you're coping and what you're getting up to. We'd love to hear from you!

DuPrem Alpaca Farm - Alphabet Adventures

Have you ever felt the softness of alpaca wool? As we browsed the boutique at DuPrem Alpaca Farm we were encouraged to touch, stroke, and press against our cheeks the products on sale so we could feel for ourselves. It's gorgeous! Nestled in the heart of the Averyon countryside the Alpaca Boys have set up a farm and offer tours (5€ per adult) for people to meet and learn all about alpacas.

Alpacas are funny creatures. When we saw them at DuPrem their heavy coats had been sheared off and we were amused with their tufts of head hair that keep them shaded from the glare of the summer sun. The babies had been born and were penned in with their mothers, and the males (the studs) were casually grazing under the trees. Daimen, who gave us the tour, gave us an informative talk about their farm. Happy to answer all our questions we learnt about the animals, how they were mated to try and create the greatest gene pool that resulted in the best wool, how long the females were in gestation (11 months), the amount of wool they produce and how it's graded (by touch), what they eat, and the crazy prices that some alpacas around the world have sold for.

The Alpaca Boys not only produce products made with alpaca wool to buy, they also sell alpacas! Whether it's to help people set up their own farm or just for pets, they are there to help with all your alpaca needs. What do you think...should we add alpacas to our list of animals at Wild Oak Wood? I think it would be a good idea to keep them with the chickens, they might help ward off predators!

If you book onto Ania Grzeszek's Natural Dyeing retreat this August we'll be visiting the DuPrem Alpaca Farm so you'll be able to meet them for yourselves! Full details are on our website Wild Oak Wood. Places are limited so get in touch if you're interested.

Wild Oak Wood Retreats

Happy New Year! We've had a lovely two weeks celebrating Christmas (Phoebe's first!) and New Year with family and friends, but now it's time to get down to business! This year is a big one for us. Due to Phoebe's arrival we postponed our campsite opening till this year, but we've decided to do things a little differently. We recently launched our series of retreats that we will be hosting over the summer and we're more than a little excited. We're keen to share our space and work with people that share the same ethos as us and so last year we reached out to people who we knew we would like to work with. We have three wonderful teachers who are coming here this summer to inspire you during week long retreats, showcasing the best of what they do in the beautiful surrounds that we live in.

Rewilding with Nes Bear
Here at Wild Oak Wood we're surrounded by nature. Nessa is inviting you to rewild yourself with a week of yoga and meditation alongside workshops that immerse you in the wild. With basket weaving, campfire baking, fire lighting and a wild swimming session, the week is designed to slow you down and help you find peace at our beautiful nature surrounded home.

Taste of The Good Life with Sara from Hen Corner
Country Living columnist Sara Ward in my eyes is a smallholding Queen! From her Victorian terrace in London alongside keeping chickens and bees and running a micro bakery she holds courses in everything from breadmaking, preserving, keeping bees, chickens and more. She is combining a lot of what she does into one jam packed week. With visits to local producers and hands on workshops you'll leave with a wealth of knowledge to start your own 'Good Life' journey!

Natural Dyeing with Ania from Kaliko
Ania Grzeszek is a natural dyer and weaver making small batch products in her Berlin based studio. In her week long retreat you'll learn different dyeing techniques using dye plants for their colouring powers. With hands on workshops including learning how to prepare fibres, how to create a spectrum of colours, indigo dyeing and a trip to a local alpaca farm, by the end of the week you'll have all the tools you need to create your own naturally dyed products.

We've already started to take bookings but places are still available on all courses. If you're interested visit Wild Oak Wood and get in touch to reserve your place today. We're looking forward to meeting some of you in the summer!
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